Butler County Times Gazette
  • Orioles fumble six times, lose home opener to Mulvane

  • AREA SCORES

    Mulvane 39, Augusta 7


    Andover 19, Arkansas City 0


    Buhler 35, Collegiate 28


    Clearwater 47, El Dorado 24


    Derby 55, Andover Central 7


    Andale 32, Rose Hill 16


    Winfield 29, Circle 7
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  • It seemed every time the Orioles made a big play to get back into Friday night's game against Mulvane, the Orioles would fumble.
    Perhaps there was no bigger momentum shift than during the third quarter, when Tristan Finch hit Anthony Castillo on a big pass play. Castillo ran 30 yards to Mulvane's 1 yard line before hitting the turf, then coughing up the ball. Though Castillo appeared down by contact, the referees signaled for a touchback as the ball rolled out of the back of the end zone.
    "Momentum-wise, it was big and it definitely hurt us," coach Roger Robben said of the play. "But it's one of those deals, I told our guys we had to fight through adversity. Sometimes you shoot yourself in the foot, and you got to keep battling back.
    "Every time it seemed like we got any kind of momentum going, we found some way to not give ourselves a chance to capitalize on it and build on it," he added.
    Augusta finished with six fumbles and lost four as the Wildcats won 39-7. Mulvane finished with four fumbles and lost three.
    After Castillo's fumble, Augusta's defense forced Mulvane to punt, but on the Orioles' first play, Trae Goken lost the ball, and Mulvane recovered and turned it into a quick score. The Orioles went from 1st-and-goal at Mulvane's 1 with a chance to cut their deficit to 14-7 to Mulvane taking a 21-0 lead after Michael Mason punched it in from 11 yards out.
    Mason, a 5-foot-11, 201-pound running back, was a destructive force for Mulvane. He finished with game highs of 41 carries, 235 yards and all six Mulvane touchdowns. Mason coughed it up three times and lost it twice, but it mattered little. Most of his yards came after contact as he proved too tough for the Orioles to bring down.
    "If he's not an All-State running, I don't know [who is]," Robben said of Mason. "He's one of the best around...He knows how to do a lot of things."
    Augusta's defense kept the Orioles in it despite Mulvane running nearly twice as many plays in the first half as the Orioles.
    "That definitely defeats our game plan," Robben said. "We needed to control the ball and play a little keep-away from them."
    The Orioles got a stop to force a turnover on downs on the Wildcats' opening possession. Down 7-0 with less than 6 minutes left in the half, Mulvane threatened to score again on a long drive, but senior Greg Slaton ripped the ball from Mason and ran it back 38 yards near midfield.
    Augusta's offense, however, went three and out, and Mulvane put together a 54-yard drive on nine plays and scored with 56 seconds left before halftime for a 14-0 lead.
    Page 2 of 2 - The Orioles didn't help themselves slow down Mulvane's attack with four offsides penalties, one of which was on a fourth down that allowed Mulvane to get a first.
    Caleb Faulconer finished with a team-high 12 tackles for the Orioles. Castillo had 11 and Kaleb Fewin had nine.
    Augusta, now 1-1 on the season, will host Wellington at home next Friday. The Orioles beat the Crusaders last season for their only win.

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